Army Spring Review: Quarterbacks

Army recently completed its spring drills. ArmySports.com’s Jim Lawler will now review every Black Knight position and name a starter, a backup and a third string player to watch. In this segment he reviews the quarterbacks.

Army just completed its second spring practice under the guidance of head football coach Jeff Monken. Based on what I saw the team has seen a drop in skill position talent with the graduation of last year's senior dominated class. That isn't a reflection on the current staff who seems to have done a nice job recruiting but a look at the talent hand they were dealt. The Ellerson staff's recruits experienced a lot of attrition the last few classes especially at the skill positions. As a result Monken lacks depth at a lot of positions on offense. ArmySports.com will look at the post spring depth chart. When discussing players we refer to the class year they will be in this fall.

QUARTERBACK
Starter: A.J. Schurr Sr.
Or Starter: Ahmad Bradshaw So.
Third String: Matthew Kaufmann Jr.
Senior A.J. Schurr missed spring practice due to an injury. It seems the only consistent part of Schurr's game is his inability to remain healthy. Schurr has twice left spring training as starter and lost the job because he entered summer camp with injuries and couldn't compete. This year he reversed the trend as he missed spring after having off season surgery. A.J. has been a huge disappointment. Schurr (6-0", 209) impressed me with his athleticism at times since I saw him lead USMAPS. He showed bursts of promise but makes many of the same mistakes he made at the prep school. He is inconsistent, makes some poor decisions running the option but the real concern is he's had the durability of a china doll. He was knocked out of three games last year despite his limited playing time. AJ's ball security issues hold him back and he seems to have a lot of trouble handling a slick ball in bad weather. Schurr has ability but he'll have to win the job this summer as he is listed as a co-starter. The Monken staff tried to hand him the keys to the offense last year because he was more physically talented than Angel Santiago but he never responded with reliable play. Even if Schurr wins the job this fall, based on his history, I doubt he will stay healthy.

Sophomore quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw (5-11", 196) benefited from the extra snaps this spring and put himself in a position to win the job this summer. The Black Knights, sorry I officially hate the Army West Point "branding", must develop at least a capable backup with Schurr's inability to stay healthy. Bradshaw led the Black team in the spring game to a score when he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass off a nice play fake to wide receiver Edgar Poe. He ran hard for 56 rushing yards on twelve carries. Bradshaw completed 4-of-9 for 37 passing yards and a score but was picked off twice including in the end zone by Josh Jenkins. Bradshaw is still raw but he showed improvement this spring. Ahmad missed much of his plebe season dealing with some academy issues. Bradshaw was the starting quarterback for the United States Military Academy Prep school in 2013 and is a good athlete. He is a physically strong runner with good quickness but lacks blazing speed. At USMAPS and this spring he did manage to break free on a few long touchdown runs despite not possessing top end speed. He has some acceleration in the lane and can run through arm tackles. He has good arm strength for an option quarterback but needs to improve his accuracy throwing the ball. He is listed as co-starter at the end of spring ball.

Junior Matthew Kaufmann saw plenty of snaps this spring but struggled in the spring game. He was just 3-of-8 for 15 passing yards and was sacked three times as the Gold team offensive line didn't block at all. Kaufmann had no time to throw and found little running room. He understands the offense and ran the scout team last year. Kaufmann proved at USMAPS he can move a team but he isn't fast or elusive. Matthew is essentially a slower left handed version of Angel Santiago. He's not a threat for the starting job and is not the answer at quarterback.

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